Foreclosure Starts and Sales Spiked in January, Report Says

Foreclosure activity jumped in January, according to a report released by a leading lender processing service. The spike seems to suggest that the foreclosure backlog is beginning to clear. If so, that's a trend likely to continue, many experts say, in the wake of a recent settlement that has clarified acceptable foreclosure practices for the country's largest servicers.

Foreclosure starts and foreclosure sales rose by 28 and 29 percent respectively in January, LPS' January Mortgage Monitor report says. Forty-seven percent of all the foreclosure starts were repeat foreclosures, marking an all-time high, LPS says. Housing experts generally consider an increase in foreclosure activity to be a good thing for the current housing market because the clogged foreclosure pipeline is frustrating a full price recovery.